Project Title: Materials Development and Manufacturing for Low Cost, High Efficiency c-Si Solar Cells
Funding Opportunity: SunShot Technology to Market (Incubator 10)
SunShot Subprogram: Technology to Market
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Amount Awarded: $1,000,000
Awardee Cost Share: $256,359
Project Investigator: Andrei Iancu
The Halo Industries project under the SunShot Technology to Market initiative will develop and prototype new materials fabrication technologies with the goal of significantly reducing the materials cost of existing solar cell architectures. The objective is to streamline the fabrication process through more efficient and automated production line tools that decrease material usage while reducing both process and operational complexity.
A number of proprietary improvements to key tools on a solar production line will be prototyped to demonstrate and optimize their performance. Detailed cost of ownership models will be developed to verify and quantify the operational efficiencies associated with the novel hardware prior to pilot deployment.
Although proprietary in nature, the technical approach taken is one based on over six years of research and development work focused on investigating new methods of improving existing solar manufacturing processes. Non-automated research-grade prototypes have demonstrated reductions in silicon solar cell material costs as well as improved operational efficiencies for a number of fabrication steps.